Hibriten hangs on for sloppy win
Despite 10 fumbles — four of which were lost, including three on consecutive second-half possessions — and despite losing the turnover battle by a 5-0 margin, the Hibriten football team bounced back from its only loss of the season to defeat visiting Patton 21-13 on Friday in a Northwestern 3A/4A Conference contest at Jeff Storie Memorial Stadium.
The victory was Hibriten’s third in as many years over Patton, all in games decided by one possession.
Hibriten (9-1, 5-1) exploded out of the starting gate with a five-play, 51-yard touchdown drive on the game’s first possession capped by junior running back Devell Maxwell’s 17-yard run over right tackle, in which he broke two tackles to find the end zone.
Midway through the second period, Hibriten senior quarterback Jacob Copper ran for a 2-yard TD on a draw play. Then just before the half, Copper connected with junior wide receiver Drake Felder for a 32-yard TD pass on a skinny slant pattern. Felder went high to haul in the pass, regained his balance and outran two defenders across the goal line.
But that proved to be the last TD by the hosts, who only entered the red zone once more. Patton, meanwhile, had minus-25 net yards and no first downs through the first 33 minutes spanning eight possessions but found running lanes when sophomore backup Josh Rutherford entered the game.
Rutherford ran six times for 43 yards, including a 2-yard score, as Patton rattled off four first downs in five plays to draw within 21-7 in the final minute of the third period.
Then on a third and 10 from the Hibriten 47 after a fumble, seniors Nick Conklin and Landon Colley hooked up for a 47-yard TD pass to make it a one-score game with 9:59 left.
Hibriten mounted a 14-play, 58-yard drive to chew some clock, but its 42-yard field goal was blocked, giving Patton one last chance. But on fourth and 11 from their own 32, the visiting Panthers dropped a deep pass over the middle that likely would have been a touchdown, sealing the Hibriten win.
Copper completed 7 of 15 passes for 120 yards and ran for a game-high 95 yards on 19 carries as Hibriten outrushed Patton 247-44 and outgained Patton 367-126.
Defensively, Hibriten was led by senior Jonathan Minton (three tackles for loss, sack), senior Hunter Penley (two and a half tackles for loss, sack) and junior TiShawn Daniels (two tackles for loss, sack).
Hibriten closes the regular season by hosting Hickory next week.
HIBRITEN 21, PATTON 13
PATTON^0 ^0 ^7 ^6—13
HIBRITEN^7 ^14 ^0 ^0—21
H — Devell Maxwell 17 run (Luke Robson kick)
H — Jacob Copper 2 run (Robson kick)
H — Drake Felder 32 pass from Copper (Robson kick)
P — Josh Rutherford 2 run (Jevon Morris kick)
P — Landon Colley 47 pass from Nick Conklin (Morris kick)